Wake Up Call: Tech Giant Lawyers Took a Grilling on Capitol Hill

• Lawmakers grilled top lawyers for Facebook, Google and Twitter at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian meddling with social media during the 2016 presidential election. Senator Angus King issued a simple admonishment. “I’m disappointed you are here and not your CEOs,” King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, told the three corporate counsels. “We would appreciate seeing the top people who are actually making the decisions.” (Bloomberg)

•After two rocky days in Congress, the social media giants face rising momentum for regulation of political ads to curb Russian election meddling, although some key Republicans remain skeptical and urged the companies to do a better job on their own. (Bloomberg)

• The tech lawyers who appeared before Congress were Colin Stretch, general counsel of Facebook, Kent Walker and Richard Salgado of Google, and Sean Edgett, deputy general counsel of Twitter, who stepped in as Twitter’s Vijaya Gadde is on maternity leave. (Recode)

• Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has elected Katharine “Katie” Martin to head its board in a shake-up of the firm’s leadership with named partner Larry Sonsini stepping down as chairman. Martin has served on the firm’s 10-member board since 2007 and was elected for a three-year term as chair. Sonsini has been a legend in the Silicon Valley for decades and will remain active as a senior partner and a member of the board. (BLB)

•President Trump on Wednesday tapped Justice Department official Robert K. Hur to lead the Maryland U.S. attorney’s office, where he was a longtime federal prosecutor. (Washington Post)

• Keith Wetmore, who served as chair of Morrison & Foerster between 2000 and 2012, is announcing a career change. Wetmore, 61, will join the legal recruiting firm Major Lindsey & Africa, where he will focus primarily on helping law partners change firms. His last day at MoFo as chair emeritus will be Dec. 31, he told Big Law Business in an interview. He will join MLA in San Francisco shortly after. (BLB)

• The merger between Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice and the U.K.’s Bond Dickinson, a trans-Atlantic union unveiled in June, officially went live Wednesday. The combined firm Womble Bond Dickinson, will have 1,000 lawyers across 24 offices in the United States and U.K. as well as roughly $410 million in gross revenue. But one thing it won’t have is Womble’s official mascot, Winston the Bulldog, who the firm will no longer use in its marketing. (The American Lawyer)

• How well do law firms prepare their lawyers for partnership? Answers to that question widely varied in an annual ALM survey, which included responses from 400 lawyers promoted to firm partnerships in 2015, 2016 or 2017. (The American Lawyer)

• President Donald Trump’s contention that women who accused him of sexual harassment were lying was just a political opinion expressed during the 2016 campaign, his lawyers argued as they sought to block a suit by a woman who appeared on his reality TV show, “The Apprentice.” (Bloomberg)